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Menzel Retrospective: Those Wonderful Movie Cranks

(This article expired 22.01.2014.)

On March 19, at 7 pm, Bistro Bohem will screen THOSE WONDERFUL MOVIE CRANKS (Báječní muži s klikou). The film centers around the beginnings of cinematography. Two men have a passion for filmmaking. One of the men (played by Menzel himself) is behind the camera, capturing the image. Another tries to obtain a cinema for playing the films. Both try to persuade a renowned “diva” to perform on film, which in the early days of filmmaking was seen as an obscene form of art. The screening will be in Czech only.

Those Wonderful Movie Cranks (Báječní muži s klikou)
1979, 90 minutes, Czech only            

The film centers around the beginnings of cinematography. Two men have a passion for filmmaking. One of the men (played by Menzel himself) is behind the camera, capturing the image. Another tries to awaken local production and obtain a cinema for playing the films. Both try to persuade a renowned “diva” to perform on film, which in the early days of filmmaking was seen as an obscene form of art.        

About Jiří Menzel:
Jiří Menzel is an award-winning director, screenwriter, actor, and theater director. He studied filmmaking at the famous Czech National Film Academy, FAMU, in Prague. Like Forman, he was one of the leaders of the Czech New Wave. Most notably, Menzel won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1968 for his first feature-length film Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky, 1966). With the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces in 1968, and the period of so-called ‘normalization’ that followed, he was one of the first directors to be barred from filmmaking. Menzel’s controversial film Larks on a String (Skřivánci na niti, 1969) was banned by the government, but released twenty years later, in 1990, after the collapse of the communist regime. The film won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1987, his film My Sweet Little Village (Vesničko má středisková, 1985) was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film. Other renowned works include Capricious Summer (Rozmarné léto, 1968), Cutting It Short (Postřižiny, 1981) and most recently I Serve the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále, 2006). Menzel is a member of the Czech Film and Television Academy, the European Film Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has received many prestigious awards, among them the French order of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and the Akira Kurosawa Prize for a lifetime’s achievement at the San Francisco Film Festival.   

About the Czech New Wave:
The Czech New Wave was an artistic movement of the 1960s, hailed as the “golden era” in Czechoslovakia's cinematic history boasting some of the most attractive films produced in Europe. The core of the New Wave was comprised of recent graduates of the Film and Television Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, who made their debuts in or around 1963 and continued to produce internationally acclaimed work throughout most of the decade. Prominent Czech directors include Miloš Forman, who directed Black Peter (Černý Petr, 1963), Loves of a Blonde (Lásky jedné plavovlásky, 1965) and The Firemen's Ball (Hoří, má panenko, 1967); Věra Chytilová who is best known for her film Daisies; and Jiří Menzel, whose film Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky, 1966) won an academy award for best foreign language film.

Event Details:
Location: Bistro Bohem
600 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20001
www.bistrobohem.com

Come enjoy some delicious Czech cuisine beforehand and stay for the movie.

Menzel Retrospective - Screenings at Bistro Bohem:
January 15: Pearls of the Deep | Perličky na dně
February 19: Closely Watched Trains | Ostře sledované vlaky
March 19: *Those Wonderful Movie Cranks | Báječní muži s klikou
April 16: Larks on a String | Skřivánci na niti
May 21: Capricious Summer | Rozmarné léto
June 18: *I Served the King of England | Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále
July 16: *Crime in a Music Hall | Zločin v šantánu
August 20: *Who Looks for Gold | Kdo hledá zlaté dno
September 17: Cutting It Short | Postřižiny
October 15: The Snowdrop Festival | Slavnosti sněženek
November 19: Seclusion Near a Forest | Na samotě u lesa
December 17: My Sweet Little Village | Vesničko má středisková

*These films will be screened in Czech without subtitles. All others will have English subtitles.
Films start at 7 pm.